EDWARDSVILLE - The Edwardsville YMCA Allison Cassens Early Childhood Development Center has been awarded a Quality Improvement Grant from ExceleRate Illinois. The grant allows for childcare facilities to continue improving and recognizes a program’s commitment to quality. It will also allow for the center to reach the next level of excellence, the Silver Circle of Quality.

The grant provides new age and size appropriate cots, bedding, tables, chairs and several other materials.

“When we opened in 2013, some of the supplies were passed down from the previous daycare facility. We have put a lot of work into updating the facility both before we opened and in the following years. We were very happy to get a much needed facelift on these last items,” reflects Crystal Andres, the Allison Cassens Early Childhood Development Center director. “In order to qualify for the grant I had to do a self-assessment of the whole facility to prove that the center needed these items.”

Among the additional materials are multicultural/diverse CD’s and books. Andres says, “This is very important for our children to learn about different cultures. We strive to have the best materials and curriculum for our children to learn from and ExceleRate Illinois shares that sentiment. ” The Allison Cassens Center received the Bronze Circle of Quality in December. It recognized that the center went beyond the basic state licensing requirements (which cover seven broad areas including staffing, programming, health, safety and hygiene).

The Center is open from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday to children from 6 months to their first day of kindergarten. Registration is open year-round for members and non-members of the Edwardsville YMCA. For more information or schedule a tour, visit the website at www.edwardsvilleymca.com or call 618.288.3232.

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